Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More on the marketing of this tobacco crop

Dark fire-cured near Springfield, Tn.
Dark tobacco awaits harvest near Springfield, Tn.
The best quality dark air- and fire-cured crop in Ken-tucky and Tennessee since 2006 is making its way to delivery stations, says Andy Bailey, Extension dark tobacco specialist. "So far, weights look good. I haven't heard of a 4,000-pound yield yet, but I know of some fire-cured yields in the 3,800 to 3,900 pound range and some air-cured yields of 3,400 pounds." Quality appears to be good, he says. "I have heard no major complaints from the buyers." Over two thirds of the two types have been received, says Bailey. "We will still be delivering in January and February." Kenneth Smith, leader of the Eastern Dark Fired Tobacco Growers Association, says it is "a good useable crop, one of the best we have had in a while. But it is not huge. I have heard that the companies are taking excess tobacco when they see it and it looks like all is going find a home." There is some concern about moisture, says Smith. "We have had a lot of rain since November 1. Farmers have been stripping as fast as they can." The weather has been good for taking fire-cured tobacco down but some of the air-cured tobacco has been too wet to take down and strip.Receiving began the first week of October for the second year, he says. The opening date used to take place in November, but the companies helped relieve some of delivery pressure by going to an earlier start in 2010. A note on the burley in the area: A leaf dealer who buys in middle Tennessee and western Kentucky says the burley crop there is coming in unusually slow. "I have never seen anything like this," he says. "It is an above average crop and its selling good but it is coming off the farm very slow." Bailey tells Tobacco Farmer Newsletter that the slow delivery is probably just an effect of high moisture. "Growers are having to wait on stripping until moisture levels go down even though curing has been complete for several weeks."


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